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The Zogby Poll®: President Trump's job approval rating in key battleground states

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Zogby Analytics® conducted online surveys of likely voters in seven battleground states - Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Wisconsin. The surveys were conducted 5/23/19-5/29/19.

Based on a confidence interval of 95%, the margin of error for each state is as follows:

State Completes MOE
Arizona 500 +/- 4.4 percentage points
Florida 508 +/- 4.4 percentage points
Michigan 507 +/- 4.4 percentage points
Ohio 511 +/- 4.3 percentage points
Pennsylvania 509 +/- 4.3 percentage points
South Carolina 507 +/- 4.4 percentage points
Wisconsin 506 +/- 4.4 percentage points

 

Overall, the president is doing decent in most of the battleground states we polled. He is polling a 45% job approval rating (strongly and somewhat approve combined) in five of the seven states we examined: Arizona (47% approve/51% disapprove), Florida (47% approve/50% disapprove), Ohio (46% approve/53% disapprove), South Carolina (57% approve/42% disapprove) and Wisconsin (45% approve/53% disapprove). In two key "blue-wall" states the president won in 2016, Michigan (39% approve/60% disapprove) and Pennsylvania (44% approve/55% disapprove), Trump's job approval numbers are upside down.

Strengths

President Trump is reaching some younger voters in key battleground states. The president is polling well among Millennial voters aged 18-29 in Florida (49% approve/49% disapprove), Wisconsin (46% approve/53% disapprove), and South Carolina (48% approve/49% disapprove).

The president is also doing decent with some Generation Z voters: a majority (52%) of voters aged 18-24 in Florida approved of the president, while 44% disapproved. 43% of Ohio likely voters aged 18-24 approve of Trump's job as president, while a majority of Generation Z voters (57%) disapprove. When it came to how other demographics rated the president, most did not deviate from their normal political leanings.
For instance, and to no one's surprise, President Trump received at least 50% approval or higher among men in the following states: Arizona (51% approve/48% disapprove), Florida (54% approve/45% disapprove), Ohio (50% approve/49% disapprove), Pennsylvania (51% approve/49% disapprove), and South Carolina (60% approve/40% disapprove). The President did not receive 50% job approval among men in Michigan (45% approve/55% disapprove) and Wisconsin (49% approve/50% disapprove). This should concern the president!

An important group that Trump continues to do well with is union voters. In the seven states we polled, here's how Trump's numbers breakdown with union voters: Arizona (58% approve and 39% disapprove), Florida (53% approve and 45% disapprove), Michigan (38% approve and 61% disapprove), Ohio (55% approve and 46% disapprove), Pennsylvania (46% approve and 54% disapprove), South Carolina (64% approve and 36% disapprove), and Wisconsin (44% approve and 54% disapprove).

Weaknesses

The president's biggest weaknesses revealed in our polling are the two most improbable wins he had in the 2016 presidential election: Michigan and Pennsylvania. Trump's numbers are dismal in Michigan; the president does not do well with any sub-group, especially, younger voters aged 18-29 (35% approve/64% disapprove) and voters aged 18-24 (39% approve/59% disapprove), women (35% approve/51% disapprove), men (44% approve/55% disapprove), voters without college degrees (43% approve/57% disapprove), voters in large cities (23% approve/78% disapprove) and medium size cities (34% approve/66% disapprove).

In Pennsylvania, 44% of likely voters strongly and somewhat approve of Trump's job performance, while 55% of likely voters disapprove of Trump. The same pattern displayed Michigan also plays out in Pennsylvania, with the exception that Trump does well with men (51% approve/49% disapprove) and likely voters without college degrees (48% approve/51% disapprove).

Trump also has issues with another voting bloc: Independents! Here's how the president's numbers faired with Independents in the battleground states we polled: Arizona (41% approve and 57% disapprove); Florida (43% approve and 54% disapprove), Michigan (36% approve and 63% disapprove), Ohio (42% approve and 56% disapprove), Pennsylvania (31% approve and 66% disapprove), South Carolina (55% approve and 42% disapprove), and Wisconsin (42% approve and 53% disapprove).

It's not surprising that President Trump is receiving little support from women in key states. There were some states where he did better than others, but the president must win over more women voters in the following states: Arizona (43% approve and 54% disapprove); Florida (42% approve and 55% disapprove), Michigan (35% approve and 64% disapprove), Ohio (43% approve and 56% disapprove), Pennsylvania (38% approve and 60% disapprove), South Carolina (54% approve and 44% disapprove), and Wisconsin (41% approve and 56% disapprove).

It's very obvious how liberals and conservatives feel about Trump, but moderates could be the difference in a general election match-up against an establishment candidate like Democrat Joe Biden. Here's how moderates rate the president's job performance in seven states: Arizona (39% approve and 57% disapprove); Florida (36% approve and 61% disapprove), Michigan (30% approve and 70% disapprove), Ohio (38% approve and 61% disapprove), Pennsylvania (39% approve and 61% disapprove), South Carolina (44% approve and 54% disapprove), and Wisconsin (24% approve and 74% disapprove).

Opportunities and Threats

One demographic that the president needs in order to defeat any potential Democratic nominee in 2020 is suburban voters. While the president is doing well in some states, he's doing less desirable in other places that might decide the 2020 presidential election. Here is a breakdown of how suburban voters rate his job performance: Arizona (50% approve and 49% disapprove); Florida (45% approve and 53% disapprove), Michigan (38% approve and 61% disapprove), Ohio (35% approve and 65% disapprove), Pennsylvania (47% approve and 53% disapprove), South Carolina (57% approve and 41% disapprove), and Wisconsin (48% approve and 48% disapprove).

The Takeaways

The president has some work to do in "blue-wall" states such as Pennsylvania and Michigan. Both were historic wins for the president in 2016, and are key to his re-election in 2020. Trump squeaked by Hillary Clinton in these states. His low approval ratings in Michigan and Pennsylvania could open the door for Joe Biden!

President Trump is strengthening his grip on Florida: not only is his job approval rating very well in the "sunshine state," but he is also popular among younger voters, Hispanics and union voters. At 43% job approval among Independents, this is his highest rating among Independents of the seven states we polled.

Trump's overall numbers in Ohio are good but he needs to do better with younger voters, women and suburban voters. Trump also has the advantage of both states being won by Republican governors in 2018, which could provide extra resources and boots on the ground to help President Trump keep Ohio red.

In the seven states we polled, Trump is not doing well with Independents. He will need to have support from 45%-50% of Independents to win key states like Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Florida in the 2020 general election.

The president will need to shore-up strength with suburban voters in Ohio, Michigan and Florida. He will also have to specifically target suburban women, who he has an up and down relationship with. One important issue he polls well among suburban women is immigration. But the Democrats could counter suburban women with another issue that works in their party's favor, healthcare.

 

 

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